January 1, 1970

Spindrift is 1966 short film by Jan Bark and Erkki Kurenniemi, reconstructed in 2013.

Spindrift was a project initiated by Swedish composer/musician Jan Bark. In 1965 he proposed SVT to produce an experiment for a new kind of “music for black and white TV”, exploring audiovisual synesthesia. Bark’s friend Erkki Kurenniemi programmed the animations with Pace TR-48 analogue computer at Helsinki University’s Department of Nuclear Physics where he was hired as an assistant while being a student at the same time. These animated sequences were then shot directly off the computer screen, some of them treated with optical printer later on.

Spindrift was completed in 1966 and premiered at Computer Music Seminar, Dipoli, Espoo on the 28th of October 1967 on 16mm film print. On the 15th of December 1968 it was broadcasted by SVT. No further screenings are known.

The screening print and the negative of Spindrift are no longer at SVT archives. They are lost, most likely destroyed accidentally in the early 1970s.

The reconstructed film is a not the definite form of what Bark and Kurenniemi achieved. The editing is based on the surviving 16mm positive ”work copy” film reel, which has been cleaned and re-scanned. The soundtrack is compiled from the two 1/4” unedited tapes containing music composed for the film, edited now on the basis of Bark’s hand-written “mixing process chart”. This reconstruction of sound and image was done with the help of Bark’s work diaries, laboratory notes and reminiscences of people who were involved in the making or saw the film screened in 1967.



  • La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain, 2014
  • Tempo Festival, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2014
  • Towards 2048, Kiasma, Helsinki, 2013